Photographing engagements has always been a fun and insightful process for me as a photographer. I have been honored by many to observe and document pieces of couples' lives for them to show to all their friends and family. It is also a great way of historically preserving how they were as young, almost married couple, for generations to see in the future.
My favorite engagement session, and one that I will forever remember, has to be one with a former photo student of mine, Rob, and his bride, Katy. This was not an ordinary engagement session, as Katy had no clue the images we were shooting would end with a literal documentation of her getting engaged!! I was excited when asked by Rob to help with this BIG surprise anniversary photo shoot that would lead to his proposal to Katy. She had mentioned to Rob that they didn't have many good photos of them as a couple, just a ton of snapshots. So, Rob took it as a perfect way to finally ask the big question to her!
For a few weeks Rob and I secretly tossed around ideas of locations to shoot, and how the whole proposal will go. When the day came around for the surprise anniversary photo shoot, I met Rob and Katy and we went for a long drive looking for a good place to start shooting. Rob had secretly given me the ring to put in my camera bag to keep throughout the day.
I happened upon this lovely barn and we began to shoot. This barn was one that long ago in Rob and Katy's relationship Katy had mentioned she would one day love to be photographed at this barn for engagement photos. Katy was none the wiser as we carefully made our way into this old barn to begin taking photos. As the afternoon wore on, I had Katy tell me their story of how they had met and started dating. Katy obliged, as she and I did not know each too well, and told me in great detail their story. Back and forth throughout the afternoon Rob and Katy would both tell me bits and pieces overlapping each other stories. We continued shooting around the barn with random silly props to lighten the overly gushy, romantic mood.
The light was beginning to diminish and we needed to move along. We happened upon this beautiful landscape not too much further down the road and decided to wrap up photos during the sunset. After taking a few photographs--I needed to go back to my car and camera bag to grab a different camera and switch lenses, as well as slyly grab the ring, and Rob and Katy needed to have a quick clothing change. After carefully passing the ring off to Rob minutes earlier, we began to shoot again. The magical moment had come.. the afternoon sun was low in the sky; Rob began to sweetly talk to Katy and carefully lowered to his knee pulling out the ring from his jacket pocket. Katy was surprised and thrilled and moved by the moment when she gleefully started to cry and laugh. It was a wonderful recounting of the day's events by Rob with Katy as she learned of the carefully crafted engagement photo shoot she had been on.
There were moments earlier in the afternoon, she rehashed, that she said she thought could have been perfect proposal moments-- but had quickly thought-- there's no way.
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